Art preservation a great responsibility, say Vatican restorers

Weight of history

Those in charge of the restoration of various types of artwork in the Vatican museums stress that the preservation of such treasures is necessary on both a historical and an educational level.

- Catholic News Agency

'I really feel that I remove the old varnish and I can see what is the state of engraving, the original state of engraving, but I do really step by step because we need to think what we do exactly because it is a big responsibility,' restorer Chiara Fornaciari told CNA in an Oct. 21 interview.

Fornaciari is the Director of the Paper Restoration Laboratory, which facilitates the care of all paper works conserved in the Vatican Museums, with a particular emphasis on works of paper with colour. 'I can feel the responsibility to do my work and I try day by day to think about this,' Fornaciari said of a current project she is working on, 'I like to see my work renew.'

The Vatican Museums, founded by Pope Julius II, are an immense collection of different pieces of art located within Vatican City which have come into the Catholic Church's possession throughout the centuries. Among the vast works within the museums are many of the most renowned classical sculptures and most significant masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. 

Deputy to the Director of the Vatican Museums for the Scholarly and Conservational Departments Arnold Nesselrath spoke with CNA on Oct. 21, stressing that without a restoration department, the Museums could not continue to exist in decent way. 'We have a restoration department for centuries,' he noted, 'First artists were trying to keep the works of art in a reasonable condition,' but 'when the approach became more scholarly,' the museums funded the opening of several different departments in order to adhere to “modern standards” of restoration.

'Works of art always deteriorate by their nature, like everything deteriorates,' Nesselrath noted,'“so we need restoration departments to preserve the works.'

Photo: Vatican restorer Chiara Fornaciari

FULL STORY Art preservation a great responsibility, say Vatican restorers

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